Emily Henderson

stylebyemilyhenderson.com · Jan 16, 2018

2018 Design Trends: Kitchen

Last week we pulled together some of our favorite “trends” for the bathroom and today we’ve moved into the kitchen. We are putting “trends” in quotes as although we see a lot of these styles being big in design in 2018 it doesn’t mean that it is something that necessarily is what you should do with your home nor does it mean that every single one of these will work in every style of home. But we had fun doing the research and pinning some beautiful inspiration images so we thought it would be fun to collate it all together and let you know what we are seeing that feels fresh and new for 2018. Let’s get into it.

Banquet Seating:

The 80’s called… they want their seating back. But really though, are we into this one? We are seeing a lot more of it and it has gotten a HUGE makeover from the 80’s oak and cherry seating arrangements we all knew so well which is why we have included it in this list. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit at that sunny little alcove above for breakfast every morning?

The biggest changes that we are seeing that make it feel more fresh and updated are a use of more refined materials and details, or the lack thereof. The banquettes of the 80s and 90s had quite a bit of detail work in them whether that be carved wood moulding, stenciling of some kind, or a paint treatment that we would rather forget.

You’ll also notice that most of the inspiration images we have rounded up show a bench seat on one or two sides but not on three sides of the table which is another reason why these feel more updated and fresh. If it is something you are into then try doing a long built in bench like you see above and below and then flanking the other side with a few more modern style chairs.

Whether you add pillows or not is up to you like you see in the pics above and below, but if you do choose to “accessorize” said alcove then keep it pretty simple with the pillows – maybe one or two in the corners, but there is no need to have a row of pillows as that will just end up looking stuffy and crowded.

We love the channel tufting on this one as well as how they split the table into two so that you don’t find yourself scooting down a big ol’ bench to get to the center seat. Well done.

Black Fixtures:

Next up, black fixtures and faucets. We highlighted this same trend in bathrooms and the trend also works for the kitchen. As we mentioned before, black is classic in the fact that it will always work with just about every style and color palette that you have going on.

It feels simple, modern, and as a visual plus, it won’t show wear and tear or water spots as easily as some other finishes which is always a bonus in the kitchen. Our tip for this one would be to make sure to pepper a few other black elements around the room so that it doesn’t feel jarring visually to have a black faucet when everything else is in a different color vibe. The kitchen above has a row of black lower cabinets, whereas the kitchen below has some black pantry cabinets as well as the black stools and light fixture to help balance it out.

Built-in Sinks:

This one might be one of our favorites, and we are calling it “built-in sinks”. Which basically translates as having your sink be the exact same material as your countertop creating a seamless transition between the two and keeping the whole area looking very clean visually. We are pretty sure that the above marble sink is not an affordable option but man does it look beautiful in that kitchen.

In the two kitchens above, they used concrete to create a countertop and sink area which is a much more affordable option than marble and also allows pretty limitless customization on sizing and color.

Brass and marble will always win in our book, and this kitchen is definitely winning at life. You’ll also notice with this one there are a few different ways to install a “built-in sink” the marble sink above looks like it has mitered corners where the sink meets the countertop which helps it to feel seamless and visually clean of extra lines whereas the sink below was built in below the countertop surface so you can see a line where the counter meets the sink.


Concrete is making its way up from the floor to the countertops and we love the look. As we mentioned above concrete gives you quite a bit of liberty when it comes to customization as well as color and it is also a very affordable option.

But it isn’t just for counters, your walls can look just as chic in the material. If you are putting it on your walls I would steer clear of anything that is too dark, as visually it might end up feeling like you live in a prison but these lighter toned walls with a slight texture are so beautiful and have a wonderful color variance to them.


By a show of digital hands, how many of you have a formal dining room that you never use, and end up crowding around a small little table in the kitchen or hovering your plate over the island as you dish it down? Eat-in kitchens are the solution to this and although they don’t work for every floor plan, visually we are very into them. It’s the new ‘kitchen table’ and while that may seem obvious for a while it took a back seat to more formal kitchens (pun-intended).

You need quite a bit of kitchen space for this one, but if you do have the space then think about getting rid of the island and doing a u-shaped kitchen that is centered around a dining and seating area.

We love the look of a farmhouse table in a kitchen area, one that has a lot of age and that you aren’t scared of throwing a dish of food on, or clearing off for the kids to do a project on.

And if you don’t have room for a huge seating area you can do a small-scale version of this with a circular 4 top like you see above, which also incorporated the banquette seating trend. Or you could float a smaller circular table like they did below.

Flat-Front Cabinetry:

The last 5 years seemed to be dominated by the shaker style cabinet and although that will ALWAYS be in trend and something that is timeless we are loving some of the slimmer flat-front panels that we are seeing in some of these kitchens.

Whether it is out of a beautiful wood like above and below.

Or painted out in a color like the rest of the inspiration images it is a simple and rather affordable door option that keeps things feeling very simple and modern.

Will it work for every style of home… probably not. If you live in a traditional, rustic, country or french style home then it might make sense to have a cabinet door with a bit of detailing on it to echo the architecture of the home, but when this simple flat front door is done right it is a trend that we are loving for the kitchen.

Yep, this kitchen sells it pretty well. Granted there are some pretty impressive windows, beams, the beautiful island and eating area going on as well in the pic, but the simple flat front cabinets work so well with everything and don’t scream out “look at me, I am a kitchen cabinet” in an obnoxious way as a lot of other overtly detailed cabinets can.

Hidden Hoods:

Do you remember when hoods came into the kitchen game and everyone was like “HEY, LOOK AT MY MASSIVE STAINLESS STEEL HOOD IN THE MIDDLE OF MY KITCHEN”? It was a time when the hood was so new that it made sense to show it off, and yes there are definitely still times and houses when it makes sense to have your hood exposed or showcased. But, we love the trend of the more subtle “hidden” hood that these kitchens are showing off.

See that beautiful hood up there? Yep, neither do we, but we know it is there – expertly hidden behind that facade of marble or plaster above the range.

You can also build it out slightly but cover the box with a material that works with the kitchen without being too obvious like my friend Amber Lewis did above in this kitchen. Or below, where they built out the marble box around it creating an almost floating hood.

Lastly, there is the option of treating it as almost a fireplace area and creating a large mantle piece above it like the kitchen below did. All of these hidden hoods are a great way to seamlessly incorporate a much-needed item in your kitchen without drawing too much attention to it.

Integrated Appliances:

Which brings us to the next trend. Fully integrated appliances. This isn’t a “new to the game” trend, or something that we haven’t seen already but it is something that we love currently. Do we all love being able to get fresh water and ice out of our fridge doors without having to open the door? Absolutely. But if you are looking for something more modern and seamless then integrating all of your appliances will visually pull the kitchen together.

The kitchen below is a perfect example of when to integrate your appliances. Imagine this picture with two huge stainless steel units on the right side of the frame. It just wouldn’t have the same visual effect that this one has, and also would take away from the beauty of all the other simple and understated elements of the kitchen.

And if fully integrated appliances are something that seems out of budget for you as they can be pretty expensive then think about hiding them behind sliding doors like the did kitchen below. We are pretty sure that they integrated the fridge and freezer on the right and then the other appliances like the oven and microwave behind the sliding doors.

These modern kitchens below are all so simple, clean and understated due to the fact that you don’t see any massive appliances immediately.

Marble (a lot of it):

Marble is a trend that is definitely not new, but what we are highlighting today in this post is using marble in a grand scale. And by grand we mean… the entire wall… like you see above. This kitchen is so stunningly beautiful and while yes, it would still be quite remarkable with a tile backsplash or drywall on that far wall, the marble creates this incredible focal point and sets the tone for the entire kitchen.

So, don’t be shy about your marble use, take it wall to wall, floor to ceiling and use it just about anywhere in your kitchen. A few things to avoid if you are trying to adopt this trend. Steer clear of anything that has too much color or veining which can create a visual mess. Also, you will want to either use the same marble for your countertops or keep the counters very simple so that it doesn’t compete with your walls.

Last but not least, if you do a huge installation of marble then the cabinets should be very simple as to not compete with the marble. Lots of marble Lots of detailing in your cabinets = looking like you live in a French chateau from the 1500’s.

No Upper Cabinets:

Last year was the year of the open shelf (or the single shelf), this year might be the year of no upper cabinets. Is this totally practical for everyone or every kitchen, no. Most of us have very limited storage space as it is, so eliminating upper cabinets is something that doesn’t make sense at all. But if you have the storage elsewhere and don’t need upper cabinets then this trend is something that can not only cut costs (half the kitchen cabinets) but create a much more open feeling kitchen. Due to the fact that the upper half of the room is more open visually.

With this trend you will want to make sure not to disregard that area where the upper cabinets would have been completely or else it might end up looking like you ran out of money halfway through the build. The kitchen above carried the same material from the lowers up on the wall for continuity whereas the kitchen below used a few well-placed pieces of art to help fill the space.

This kitchen has the windows on the wall which is probably why they didn’t do uppers, but the thought is the same with the upper area staying open.

We’re not quite sure what this soffit area is housing above the kitchen or if that is the reason why they didn’t do uppers as they weren’t able to build in that area but either way the visual openness above makes this kitchen feel much larger than it probably is.

This might just be the english country kitchen of our dreams… vaulted ceilings, eat-in kitchen area, antique style stove, large windows… the list goes on and on, but by them not adding in uppers it allows the ceilings to carry your eye all the way up rather than have a visual stop in the middle of the wall when the cabinets stopped right before the vaulted ceilings.

Square Tiles:

We have quite a few trends that are stemming from the 80’s in this post that have now found a new and much more polished way of showing themselves off. Square tile is one of those trends. It was huge in the 80s and 90s, mostly because it was easily accessible and extremely affordable but guess what… the same is still true.

Square porcelain tiles whether they be large or small are one of the most stocked items on the shelves, which means that the price is very affordable. We did a post a while back where we talked about the difference grout color can make in the look of your tiles, and those rules come into play in these types of tiles. Because the tiles are simple both in finish and shape you can make them a bit more exciting by contrasting it with a different color grout or installing the tiles in a different pattern other than just the typical grid. Head back to that post to read more about it.

But, if the porcelain tiles aren’t your jam, then the same square motif can be found in some more handmade tiles like those from Cle. All the tiles are slightly different which creates a beautiful texture, variation of color and sheen on the wall and looks pretty incredible once it is all installed.

If you are daring enough to do a full room like above then be our guest, but if that pink tiled kitchen scares you then something more subtle like below could work in your kitchen. Especially if you are working within a small budget. Rather than filling the entire wall with budget-friendly tiles consider using a special handmade tile that will really stand out in a smaller area like they did in this stove alcove.

Subtle variance and sheen = texture without business.

This tile will never go out of style, and the simple square shape only reinforces the timelessness of it.

But even the 4×4 builder grade tiles can look chic when done in a special color like below.

Or go small like these 2×2’s which they used below.


We talked about Terrazzo in the bathroom as being a trend, and it also works in the kitchen (among many other areas). It is one of the trends that is definitely a commitment in the fact that it isn’t something you can readily go out and buy. It typically takes working with a craftsman if you plan to do a seamless large installation on your floors or countertops like you see above and below. But there are a few companies out there now that are producing the same technique and look in tiles which makes for a much easier installation and process.

One of the biggest selling features of Terrazzo is that you can customize it to any look or color pattern that you want. So if you want something more tonal like above you can keep the aggregate to just a few colors. Or you can get more bold with your color choices like in the next few pics.

Anyway, you do it you can make it pretty darn special and we are very into it.

So, which of the kitchen trends are you loving, and which are you hating. And do any of you already have these going in your kitchen? Let us know below and let us know if you want to see more of our trend predictions for the bedroom or other rooms in the house.

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